Benji Marshall fires back after startling claims levelled at Wests Tigers NRL coach

The head coach of the Tigers was unimpressed following the claim over his worth ethic.

Benji Marshall has hit back at reports about his work ethic as the new head coach of the Wests Tigers ahead of his team's opening game of the season. The Tigers were given the bye in the first NRL round of the season, giving Marshall an extra week of training for his team in his first full season as the head coach.

Marshall has an enormous job ahead of him to turn around the club's woes in recent years. And the former player hasn't taken kindly to a Daily Telegraph report this week that claimed Marshall arrived at training well after other staff and warned he could quickly fall on the coaching scrap heap.

Benji Marshall (pictured) has slapped down a report about his work ethic as the new head coach of the Wests Tigers. (Getty Images)
Benji Marshall (pictured) has slapped down a report about his work ethic as the new head coach of the Wests Tigers. (Getty Images)

And Marshall has responded and emphatically denied those claims on Friday ahead of the clash against Canberra on Saturday. "You don't play 347 games with a poor work ethic," Marshall said after his worth ethic was questioned.

"The timing when we're about to play our first game, haven't coached a game officially is disappointing. I didn't want to have to justify the way I do things, but what I don't like is when things are told that are not true.

"You ask anyone in the building, I'm in here at quarter-to-six training with the staff before the players get in so they see us doing the hard yards before they come. Coaching-wise I know I've got a lot to learn and I have to work hard."

While Marshall was unhappy about the report questioning his worth ethic, the Tigers legend was especially frustrated about questions coming around being a 24/7 coach. This prompted the head coach to ask the reporters if they go home and sleep after their work day.

"What's a 24-7 coach? Who says I don't (live and breathe the job)?" Marshall said. "I come into work early before the players. Work as hard as we can until we get what we need done. Then we go home. Because I prioritise my family between 5-8pm every night to find a work life balance, that doesn't mean I don't care about my job or care about working hard. I don't get it."

Benji Marshall takes reins as head coach

Marshall is viewing this year as his first official time as head coach of the Tigers, despite taking over for three games at the end of last year from Tim Sheens. And in a huge move to start the season, Marshall has handed Lachlan Galvin a start at five-eighth, over veteran Aidan Sezer. Galvin is only 18 years old, the same age as Marshall when he made his debut in the NRL, but the Tigers great has backed the talent of the youngster.


And Marshall has also admitted he is feeling the nerves heading into the season. "I'm actually a little bit nervous now. It's just a lot of unknowns," Marshall said. "It's our first real competition game. I know we played two trials, but it's hard trying to prepare with the bye in round one.

"You've got to flog the players longer, and then freshen them up later. In our trials, our boys were very tired. We had to, we had to prepare for round one. I'm looking forward to seeing them fresh."

Benji Marshall watches the trial game.
Benji Marshall has handed youngster Lachlan Galvin a start for the Wests Tigers in their opening game of the season.

with AAP

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